Allow yourself plenty of time to explore Birr Castle’s spectacular Gardens and fascinating Science Centre. The Parsons family invite you to explore one of the most extraordinary places in Ireland. Created over generations it is an environmental and scientific time capsule.
Regardless of the time of year you visit, the award winning gardens won’t disappoint with their rare and exotic plants. The gardens are home to an abundance of rare plants, collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world over the last 150 years. Within the 50 hectares you will find the world’s tallest box hedges, over 40 champion trees, over 2000 species of plant as well as rivers, lake and waterfalls.
Travel back to the time when Birr Castle was a hub of scientific discovery and innovation, the third Earl was building the great telescope and his wife Mary was practicing her photography. Later, their son Charles Parsons was inventing the steam turbine, which changed the face of seafaring and led to the invention of the jet engine. The interactive centre reveals the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy with a special emphasis on the brilliant design and assembly of the world famous Great Telescope.
The Great Telescope
Wander over to the Great Telescope, designed and built by the third Earl of Rosse in the early 1840s, it was the largest telescope in the world. With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies, and from 1845-1914, anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon had to come to Birr. This ‘leviathan’ as it is named, remains in the centre of the Demesne as Ireland’s greatest scientific wonder and represents a masterpiece of human creative genius – you can’t miss it!
Play in the Tree House!
All you budding knights and princesses will find yourself lost in a world of imagination in the epic tree house Adventure Area. The playground features Ireland’s largest tree house along with a bouncy pillow, sandpits and a hobbit hut. And while they’re busy in the tree house adventure area, you deserve a coffee and a browse around the gift shop – and everyone’s happy!
Tel: +353 (0)57 912 0336
Visit our website: www.birrcastle.com